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Buyer pulled out
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# 1
LadyC
Old 25-01-2010, 11:13 AM
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Default Buyer pulled out

We had a 'too good to be true' scenario this time last week, where we had a FTB who had offered on our property, and seemed really keen, (also this was our first viewing!). As per their request, we removed house from the market and set about putting an offer in on a house we really love, which we planned to renovate in time for the birth of our second child in July. Ambitious maybe, but we had planned it all meticulously, didn't put in offer until we had one on ours (as didn't want to be messing vendor around) and had instructed our solicitor on the sale and purchase of both houses.

We first became concerned when agent couldn't tell us who our buyer's solicitor was, despite us asking them to chase the buyer on several occasions. Our buyer had come back with a few queries from the HIP but all questions were answerable and certificates provided - we had some electrical and damp work done in the past couple of years. Everything seemed to be going smoothly, or so we thought. On Friday our agent phoned to say the buyer would be getting back to her Sat morning or today with their solicitor details. However, on Sat morning she phoned us to say the buyers had pulled out. She said they felt 'under-prepared' for the process and had re-considered issues like their being no 'proper' dining space (kitchen only has room for small table seating 3-4) and that there is only a downstairs bathroom (ex-local authority house so pretty standard in the area). These are both valid issues but are surely fairly defining in the process of deciding whether or not to put in an offer?!

Anyway, we will 'only' have lost the solicitor costs as we have a no sale no fee agreement, luckily we hadn't instructed our survey - were on the verge of doing so but were waiting for our buyer's solicitor details. However, there aren't many properties around that are as lovely as the one we hoped to buy and I am angry that we will now be in a position where we will look like we are messing our vendor around, which is exactly what we wanted to avoid.

So, really I'm just having a rant, rather than asking for advice. Just can't believe that a prospective buyer would be so sketchy about the whole process. Now we have lost a week's worth of marketing time, and have probably lost out on potential purchasers (we had to cancel 2 viewings as removed house from market after accepting offer) and now as sale has fallen through, it could put people off. Prospective buyers tend to think if a sale has fallen through, there is something 'wrong' with the house - not the numpty buyers.

I'm sure this week will bring more viewers and maybe another offer (the initial interest was obviously quite positive) but just feel a bit panicky that our vendor will pull out other the purchase as when they accepted our offer we already had a buyer in place.
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# 2
DVardysShadow
Old 25-01-2010, 11:37 AM
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The more I see this. I think once you have accepted an offer, it is fair enough to go and look for other places and your seller should not be blaming you. But, I do think you should continue marketing until the survey is done, the buyer has confirmed no issues and the solicitor is appointed. Until the buyer spends money his words are cheap.
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# 3
scooter_chick
Old 25-01-2010, 11:46 AM
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I've had two of these where the 'buyer' messed me around like that for well more than a couple of weeks. The people I was trying to buy from didn't blame me for a numpty buyer, and your future buyers shouldn't be put off - if it didn't get to survey stage, then they can't imaging that there were 'problems' discovered.

If/when I get another offer, I will say that I'm not taking it off the market until they have instructed a solicitor - which is more or less free, but does at least require some level of commitment to the buying process.

And I'm sure your agents will be straight on to the people who's viewings you had to camcel to get them back round, you may not have 'lost' them.
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# 4
not_loaded
Old 25-01-2010, 12:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyC View Post
…As per their request, we removed house from the market…
That’s where it went wrong for you. Luckily you only lost a week.

We’ve had two offerers, and neither went anywhere in the end. There’s no harm at all in keeping it on the market. You can assure the potential buyer that, assuming they proceed in a timely manner you won’t renege on the deal.

In the meantime you have the ‘insurance’ of additional viewers, and possible further interest if it all goes wrong.

We’re keeping ours on until exchange of contracts. In the current market state a reasonable buyer would understand that you need to cover yourself. It’s also an incentive to them to get on with it.
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# 5
LadyC
Old 25-01-2010, 12:20 PM
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Thanks for your replies. You are all right of course, we are lucky we have only lost a week, and I'm sure the agent will be getting viewers back through the door asap - after all, it's in their interests to sell too. Next time we will be ultra cautious about removing our property from the market. Perhaps we were naive in that we have never sold a property before. We were previously FTB, and requested that our house be removed from market when we were buying it, but because we were serious about it. This time, it just didn't occur to us that someone would offer if they weren't serious!

We felt that, by removing it, we were proving we weren't in the game for messing about, but I guess as long as we get the agent to make clear our experience to anyone who might put in an offer, I guess they won't hold this against us.

Our agent has advised us not to tell our vendor agent what has happened until we have some viewings booked. This is making me feel really uncomfortable as I don't like to treat people how I wouldn't want to be myself, but I am fully aware our vendor may have accepted our offer on the basis we had a buyer so am torn between being up front and losing the house or keeping schtum for a day or two and hoping they will be none the wiser. Under the terms of our offer we ony have a week left in which to instruct a survey and I'm sure our vendor will be starting to ask questions in a couple of days. Urrrgghh! They say house buying is one of the most stressful times of your lives, but I didn't appreciate how one little hitch would make it all feel so bad (on top of being pregnant and hormonal!). Just glad I'm not planning a wedding at the same time as well!
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# 6
DVardysShadow
Old 25-01-2010, 1:19 PM
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If you instruct a survey, they will be none the wiser, for the moment, but if you don't get a buyer you will lose control of their perceptions very quickly! However, if you delay the survey, they will get suspicious.

Different personality types tend to handle this differently according to how they prefer to deal with the potential fallout, so your agent's advice may put you in a position you would rather not be in, although if it were him, he would be OK to deal with it. So you should plough your own furrow on this.

If it were me, I would consider telling my vendor and arranging the survey subject to their agreement. Their reaction will tell you a lot. For them, they now have 2 bites at getting a sale - either you get a buyer or they get another buyer, so I doubt they will want to give you a hard time and alienate you - after all you would still buy their house if you could and you are committing with the survey. Your only risk is loss of the srvey money, and I think a realistic buyer should be prepared to lose a survey fee somewhere along the way.
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# 7
ruggedtoast
Old 25-01-2010, 1:22 PM
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From the first time buyers point of view - I've been told by my solicitor that I can't instruct them until I've applied for a mortgage.

Once they have the mortgage providers details then they can proceed.

Incidentally some mortgage providers will charge the arrangement fee at the point of application. So in my case I wouldnt proceed until the vendor had removed their property from the market.

This would be the bare minimum gesture I would expect before I start to commit myself to moving fees.
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# 8
mrsw1983
Old 25-01-2010, 1:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ruggedtoast View Post
From the first time buyers point of view - I've been told by my solicitor that I can't instruct them until I've applied for a mortgage.

Once they have the mortgage providers details then they can proceed.

Incidentally some mortgage providers will charge the arrangement fee at the point of application. So in my case I wouldnt proceed until the vendor had removed their property from the market.

This would be the bare minimum gesture I would expect before I start to commit myself to moving fees.

Fair points, however the vendor will have lost marketing days/weeks if your mortgage application was rejected.
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# 9
ruggedtoast
Old 25-01-2010, 1:42 PM
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Which would be the same if or when someone in a chains buyer disappeared - like the OP.

The initial stages of house buying are largely built on trust. Hopefully you have an estate agent that can judge how reliable a potential buyer is.

It probably depends on the market. The area I am looking in has had very few sales for some months, and most of the houses have been on for in excess of 8 weeks.

I would be very surprised if a vendor wouldnt withdraw their place for a few days while I applied for a mortgage.
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# 10
not_loaded
Old 25-01-2010, 2:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ruggedtoast View Post
…Incidentally some mortgage providers will charge the arrangement fee at the point of application. So in my case I wouldnt proceed until the vendor had removed their property from the market…
I think that ‘taking it off the market’ (a Kirstie and Phil special) only worked when things were highly competitive and buyers were afraid that yet again they’d lose the property of their dreams.

An offer doesn’t cut much ice nowadays I’m afraid. (offers are usually low for a start) You don’t have to read here for long to see how many sellers have been let down on this recently.

It’s a shame so many people (on both sides) lack principles and standards now, as you clearly feel you need the ‘trust’ to proceed.

Once a seller has been burnt (as the OP has) by an untrustworthy offerer, it would seem common sense not to invite it again.
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# 11
DVardysShadow
Old 25-01-2010, 3:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ruggedtoast View Post
From the first time buyers point of view - I've been told by my solicitor that I can't instruct them until I've applied for a mortgage.

Once they have the mortgage providers details then they can proceed.

Incidentally some mortgage providers will charge the arrangement fee at the point of application. So in my case I wouldnt proceed until the vendor had removed their property from the market.

This would be the bare minimum gesture I would expect before I start to commit myself to moving fees.
I think that is your own solicitor's take on it, rather than any requirement which they must fulfil. I have never been asked to have the mortgage in place before instructing - and if this happened, I would try another solicitor, because I would take this as a strong message that they were tied up in their own red tape - or that some jumped up non-legal administrator had too much clout.

It would become awkward if the lender would not accept a mortgage application without the solicitor being named
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# 12
LadyC
Old 25-01-2010, 3:46 PM
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DVardysShadow - that is a good point about telling vendor whilst expressing our intention to instruct the survey if they are happy to carry on with our offer as it stands. We are being up front then but won't lose out on the survey money if they tell us they don't want to proceed while our situation looks rocky. Thanks for that - will disucss with 'him indoors' tonight.

Our (ex)buyers did have a mortgage agreed in principle, we certainly wouldn't have removed from the market without knowing this. I think so long as prospective buyers know we are not keeping it on the market to try to get a better offer, they would be happy to go ahead with the purchase. If they are serious about it, it doesn't take any time to instruct a solicitor and order a survey, so they will just be putting their money where their mouth is.

We felt we hadn't been greedy with what we asked for in the first place, and the buyer had offered a fair price, and indeed was just about enough to buy and renovate the place we want to buy so we weren't looking to get loads more out of anyone else. Whether or not another buyer will believe that we have scruples remains to be seen!

Another downside of today is that the agent seems to be being a bit elusive. Having told us they had 'loads' of interest previously, it seems that no-one is interested a week later. Have asked for a ballpark figure of what 'loads' is, but still waiting for callback. Quel surprise!!

Cheers all for your advice/opinions.
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# 13
not_loaded
Old 26-01-2010, 12:24 PM
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Hmm… We’ve had three EAs pursuing us for the ‘opportunity’ to sell our house. 4-beds are in short supply round here. They all claim ‘loads’ of buyers ‘queued up’ waiting, I find that hard to believe when they’d only have to view RightMove for 5 minutes to find what there is on the market.

I sympathise with your predicament, but just stick with it and don’t worry. It’s early in the 2010 season yet. Our viewings are just picking up now after the snow.

You can’t of course tell viewers you’re honest and have scruples. They’ll just have to pick up on that as they go along. From our point of view, approximately a third of our viewers have clearly been deceptive in one way or another, eg: ‘nothing to sell’ and ‘funds immediately available’.

We just give them all 100% honesty all along. Deception soon reveals itself. Most of them have dropped themselves in it during the viewing chat.
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# 14
delmar39
Old 26-01-2010, 1:11 PM
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When we sold back in December our EA checked out our buyer via their EA and also checked out the chain. They came back to us saying all was in place, so we accepted and took our property off the market and so far so good. Our buyer said that they'd have a valuation done by a certain time and this is exactly what they did. Your gut feel is usually correct. Just don't take your property off the market until you're as sure as you can be about your buyer.


Last edited by delmar39; 26-01-2010 at 1:14 PM.
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# 15
not_loaded
Old 26-01-2010, 5:19 PM
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Which is at exchange of contracts!
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